HomeHealthArchivesOct 2005

 

THE DESSERT CART (OR HAVING YOUR CAKE AND EATING IT TOO)

If you love desserts, you might think you're in for a rough time. But there's no reason why you have to forego dessert after a meal, or as a little snack, just because you're trying to lower your cholesterol, or lose weight for that matter. Like anything else, if you prepare desserts correctly -- and eat them in moderation -- they can be that extra treat you've been saving yourself for all day.

Craving a dessert is not a sign of weakness. Researchers at MIT discovered biological reasons why we crave sweet treats. The sugar in such foods increase the amount of a chemical in the brain -- serotonin -- which relieves feelings of frustration and anxiety. Lack of the chemical has been linked with PMS and certain forms of depression. It takes about three cookies (one and half ounces) to supply enough serotonin for three hours.

The desserts presented here, like every recipe in the book, are designed for low-fat, low-cholesterol but provide a variety of tasty treats that can satisfy late night cravings, or an early morning splurge. Because almost every one contains sugar, and many include chocolate, these are not meant for persons requiring low- sugar foods, or being very careful about calories. But if you do have to watch your sweets, add less sugar than the recipes recommend. Your taste for sugar, like salt and pepper, is acquired. After a little while you'll get used to less of it and won't be able to tell the difference.

Don't forget that you can adjust your own favorite dessert recipes for a low-cholesterol diet. Substitute egg whites for whole eggs, margarine for butter, carob chips for chocolate chips, if you have to. For cheese cakes and similar foods, purchase low-fat cheeses, or try tofu mixed with a little sugar and flavorings.

While you have to stay away from ice cream, enjoy ice milk or  products like B-Thin. For instance, make an attractive impromptu dessert by scooping out an orange, filling the shell with B-Thin, and topping it off with whipped egg whites and sugar.  Broil until light golden brown. (Raw eggs should be avoided, even in mousses and other whipped desserts. Salmonella, a common microbe that causes food poisoning, has been detected in samples of raw eggs.)

What about prepared snacks, desserts and cake mixes? A small package of chocolate coated peanut candies contains 13 grams of fat -- more fat than two slices of our Cherry Coffee Cake, four pieces of Chocolate Upside Down Cake, or the entire recipe of Frozen Chocolate Almond Mousse served on top of six servings of Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Milk!

Don't make the common mistake of combining your own low-fat low-cholesterol baked goods with unhealthy packaged items. Many people who bake their own cakes, for example, still use prepared icings. But several brands of icing contain beef tallow or palm oil.

How about natural desserts like fruit, nuts, or raisins? Fresh fruit is fine. But nuts are very high in fat: an ounce of almonds or peanuts can contain 15 grams of fat. As for raisins, some manufacturers coat theirs in glycerol and coconut oil to make them look better.

Along with desserts in this chapter, you'll find recipes for beverages, and hot and cold dessert sauces. Add your favorite sauce to your favorite dessert and enjoy yourself.

Blueberry Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

4 tbsp. sugar

0.0

0.0

216

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

0.0

0.0

4

1/4 cup water

0.0

0.0

0

1 cup fresh blueberries

0.0

0.0

100

1/2 tsp. almond extract

0.0

0.0

6

1 tbsp. creme de cocoa

0.0

0.0

37

Approximately 3/4 cup (or 12 tablespoons) of sauce will be made.

Each tablespoon contains:

       0  milligrams of cholesterol
       0  grams of fat
      30  calories

Directions

1.  Combine the sugar, lemon juice, and water in a saucepan.
2.  Wash the blueberries and remove the remnants of the stems.
3.  Add to a pan and heat to a slow boil.
4.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
5.  Remove from the heat and let cool.
6.  Add the extract and creme de cocoa.

Cherry Coffee Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 3/4 cup flour

0.0

1.75

700

1 cup sugar

0.0

1.0

864

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

0.0

0.0

10

dash of salt

0.0

0.0

0

6 tbsp. soft margarine

0.0

36.0

360

1 egg white

0.0

0.0

15

1 tbsp. oatmeal

0.0

0.2

11

1 tsp. vanilla extract

0.0

0.0

6

1 tsp. almond extract

0.0

0.0

8

about 2 cups cherry pie filling

0.0

0.0

660

Blueberries or other fruit fruit also make delicious fillings. This makes 6 nice sized servings (you can always cut a recipe into smaller pieces), each containing;

       0.0  milligrams of cholesterol
       6.3 grams of fat
        439  calories

Directions

1.   Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
2.   Blend in the margarine.
3.   Add the egg white and extracts.
4.   Place two drops of oil on a piece of waxed paper and rub onto the surface of an 8 inch square baking pan. For a larger       pan, such as 12 by 8 inches, increase the recipe by 50%.
5.   Spoon half of the dough into the pan.
6.   Smooth out with the back of a spoon.
7.   Layer the fruit filling evenly over the dough.
8.   Add the rest of the dough on top.
9.   Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the top turns light brown.

Chocolate Upside Down Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

4 tbsp. margarine, soft

0.0

24.0

240

1 1/4 cup sugar

0.0

0.0

1080

1 cup flour

0.0

1.0

400

5 tbsp. cocoa

1.0

4.0

120

2 tsp. baking powder

0.0

0.0

14

1/4 tsp. salt

0.0

0.0

0

1/2 cup skim milk

2.0

0.5

45

2 tsp. vanilla

0.0

0.0

16

1/2 cup brown sugar

0.0

0.0

432

1 1/4 cup water

0.0

0.0

0

This is a low-fat, low-cholesterol version of a century old recipe. Use a nine inch square pan.  Cut the finished dessert into nine servings.  Each piece will contain:

     0.33 milligrams of cholesterol
     3.3  grams of fat
     261  calories

Directions

1.   Melt the margarine. (If you have a microwave, use a glass mixing bowl.)
2.   Add half the sugar and half the cocoa to the margarine.
3.   Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4.   Blend in the milk and vanilla.
5.   Whisk until smooth.
6.   Spread the batter evenly in the pan. The batter will be thick at this point.
7.   In a small bowl, blend the remaining sugar and cocoa. You can use the same bowl you used for the batter.
8.   Add the brown sugar.
9.   Pour on top of the batter.
10.  Boil the water and pour on top.  DO NOT MIX.
11.  Bake at 350 degrees 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
12.  Allow to cool 10 minutes.

Serve by inverting each slice onto a plate. Use a spoon to retrieve any sauce from bottom of pan.

Low Fat Frozen Chocolate Almond Mousse

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

2 tsp. unflavored gelatin

0.0

0.0

16

3 tbsp. water

0.0

0.0

0

1 cup skim milk

4.0

1.0

90

4 tbsp. cocoa

0.6

1.2

96

1/2 tsp. almond extract

0.0

0.0

4

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

0.0

0.0

4

1/2 cup sugar

0.0

0.0

432

Divide the mousse into 6 dessert cups.  Each will contain:

     0.77  milligrams of cholesterol
     0.7   grams of fat
     107   calories

Directions

1.   Heat the gelatin in water in a microwave (or at low on the stove) until completely dissolved.
2.   Place the dissolved gelatin and remaining ingredients in a blender.
3.   Blend at high speed.
4.   Chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
5.   Whip again and pour into dessert cups.
6.   Freeze.

Low Fat Chocolate Almond Pudding

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

2 tbsp. cornstarch

0.0

0.0

60

3 tbsp. water

0.0

0.0

0

1 cup skim milk

4.0

1.0

90

4 tbsp. cocoa

0.6

3.2

96

1/2 cup sugar

0.0

0.0

432

1/2 tsp. almond extract

0.0

0.0

4

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

0.0

0.0

4

Divide the pudding into 4 dessert cups.  Each will contain:

     1.15  milligrams of cholesterol
     0.9   grams of fat
     172   calories

Directions

1.   Dissolve the cornstarch in water.
2.   Add the milk, cocoa, and sugar, then heat until thickened.
3.   Stir in the extracts.
4.   Divide into four dessert cups and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

Hot Fudge Topping

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

4 tbsp. cocoa

0.6

3.2

96

1 tbsp. water

0.0

0.0

0

1/2 cup sugar

0.0

0.0

432

1/4 cup skim milk

1.0

0.25

22

3 tbsp. corn syrup

0.0

0.0

172

1 tsp. soft margarine

0.0

2.0

20

1 tsp. extract - vanilla, almond, or mint

0.0

0.0

8

Makes 20 servings of one tablespoon each.  Each serving contains:

     0.08  milligrams of cholesterol
     0.27 grams of fat
       28  calories

Directions

1.   Put the first four ingredients in a saucepan.
2.   Heat at medium until boiling, or use a microwave.
3    Remove from the heat and add the last two ingredients.
4.   Blend until smooth.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. Heat to melting before serving.

Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Milk

 

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 cup sugar

0.0

0.0

864

1 egg white

0.0

0.0

15

1 tbsp. cornstarch

0.0

0.0

30

5 tbsp. cocoa

1.0

4.0

120

dash of salt

0.0

0.0

0

4 cup skim milk

16.0

4.0

360

2 tsp. vanilla extract

0.0

0.0

16

1 cup mini marshmallows

0.0

6.0

160

This makes 6 servings and each contains:

    2.83 milligrams of cholesterol
     1.3 grams of fat
     261 calories

Directions

1.   Beat the egg white and half of the sugar.
2.   In a saucepan, mix the cornstarch, cocoa, salt, and the reminder of the sugar.
3.   Blend in the milk.  Heat until boiling, stirring often.
4.   Remove from the heat and slowly add the egg-sugar mixture a spoonful at a time, stirring constantly.
5.   Heat at a low temperature for 3 minutes.
6.   Remove from the heat and let chill in the refrigerator.
7.   Add the vanilla and marshmallows.
8.   Freeze in an ice cream machine according to instructions.
9.   When finished, freeze in a container that closes tightly.

For variety, add fresh cherries, maraschino cherries, carob chips, or nuts.

Crepes

 

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 cup flour

0.0

0.0

400

1 cup water

0.0

0.0

0

4 egg whites

0.0

0.0

60

olive oil, 2 tbsp. approx.

0.0

26.0

250

Makes approximately 20 crepes, each containing:

     0.0  milligrams of cholesterol
     1.3  grams of fat
      36  calories

Directions

1.   Sift the flour into a small bowl.
2    Beat in the next two ingredients.  If you can spare the extra calories, add a teaspoon of sugar to make a sweeter batter.       Remember to add these to the figures above.
3.   Lightly oil a frying pan. If you make crepes often, reserve a pan just for this purpose. The oil will season the pan,       making the crepes easier to turn and remove.
4.   Heat the pan at medium until slightly smoking.
5.   Spoon in 2 tablespoons of batter and quickly roll the pan back and forth to spread it out evenly.
6.   Heat the crepe until the edges turn up and it is light brown.
7.   For the first crepe or two, it may be necessary to use a knife at the edges to loosen the dough.  After that, the pan       can simply be inverted over a towel and the crepe should slide out.  If the batter appears too thick, add water a       tablespoon at a time, and blend before continuing.

Serve plain, with a sprinkling of sugar, filled with chocolate almond mousse, a favorite jelly or jam, or a non-fat yogurt or cottage cheese.

Yolkless Lemon Meringue Pie

 

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

Crust

 

 

 

1 cup flour

0.0

1.0

400

5 tbsp. soft margarine

0.0

30.0

300

dash of salt

0.0

0.0

0

2 tbsp. cold water

0.0

0.0

0

1/4 tsp. sugar

0.0

0.0

5

Filling

 

 

 

1 3/4 cup sugar

0.0

6.0

1512

1/2 cup cornstarch

0.0

0.0

240

1 tbsp. cooked oatmeal

0.0

0.2

11

1/2 cup lemon juice

0.0

0.0

32

dash of lemon extract

0.0

0.0

2

4 to 6 drops of yellow food color

0.0

0.0

0

1 3/4 cups water

0.0

0.0

0

1 tsp. margarine

0.0

2.0

20

Meringue

3 egg  whites

0.0

0.0

45

1/3 cup of sugar

0.0

0.0

324

Yields six servings, each containing:

     0    milligrams of cholesterol
     5.5  grams of fat
     482  calories

Directions

1.   To make the crust, combine the first four ingredients and mix with a knife and fork.
2.   Add 2 tablespoons cold water, enough to make the ingredients adhere.
3.   Mix until the dough forms a ball, then roll out.
4.   Turn into a pie plate and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
5.   Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and oatmeal in a saucepan.
6.   Add the water, extract, and food coloring.
7.   Over medium flame, heat until boiling.
8.   Simmer slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
9.   Add lemon juice and margarine.
10.  Pour into the pie crust, cover, and refrigerate for two hours.
11.  When cool, prepare the meringue by beating the egg whites.
12.  When stiff, add the sugar.  (Add less sugar if you are counting calories).
13.  When just blended, spread the stiffened whites over the pie.
14.  Swirl decoratively with a knife.
15.  Set the pie under the broiler.
16.  Watch carefully while browning until just golden in color.
17.  Serve or chill.

Philadelphia Water Ice

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1/2 cup sugar

0.0

0.0

432

about 1 cup boiling water

0.0

0.0

0

1 tsp. root beer extract

0.0

0.0

5

1 cup cold water

0.0

0.0

0

Makes 4 half-cup servings, each containing;

       0.0 milligrams of cholesterol
       0.0 grams of fat
       109 calories

Directions

1.   Put the sugar in a measuring cup and add the boiling water to the one cup marking.
2.   Allow to cool.
3.   Add the root beer extract.
4.   Add one cup cold water and stir.
5.   Divide into 4 dessert dishes, preferably those that can be put in the microwave just before serving.
6.   Freeze.

Before serving, defrost in the microwave for 16 seconds at  high power.

Lemonade

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 cup sugar

0.0

0.0

864

1 cup boiling water

0.0

0.0

0

8 to 10 lemons, 1 1/3 cup juice

0.0

0.0

84

4 cups water

0.0

0.0

0

Makes eight 6-ounce servings, each containing:

       0.0 milligrams of cholesterol
       0.0 grams of fat
       119 calories

Directions

1.   Pour the sugar and boiling water into a pitcher and stir until dissolved.
2.   Allow to cool.
3.   Squeeze the lemons until you have a cup and a third of juice.
4.   Strain the pulp, if desired.
5.   Add water and taste.  If it is too tart, add more water, a quarter cup at a time.

Sweetened Grape Drink

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 cup sugar

0.0

0.0

864

1 cup boiling water

0.0

0.0

0

4 cups grape juice

0.0

0.0

660

11 cups water

0.0

0.0

0

Makes sixteen eight-ounce servings, each containing:

       0.0 milligrams of cholesterol
       0.0 grams of fat
        95 calories

Directions

1.   Pour the sugar and boiling water into a pitcher and stir until dissolved.
2.   Allow to cool.
3.   Add the grape juice and water, and stir.

Vanilla Icing

 

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 tsp. melted margarine

0.0

0.0

30

1/2 cup powdered sugar

0.0

0.0

432

1/2 tsp. vanilla

0.0

0.0

8

if needed, a few drops skim milk

0.2

0.1

12

For special occasions, and if you can spare the extra calories, grams of fat, and sugar, use this frosting to ice your homemade cookies.  Ices about thirty cookies, adding the following for each serving;

      0.006 milligrams of cholesterol
      0.07 grams of fat
     16.0  calories

(Compare this with prepared frosting containing 6 grams of fat, 160 calories, and palm or coconut oils.)

Directions

1.   Melt the margarine and remove from the heat.
2.   Beat in the sugar and vanilla and, if the mixture is too thick, the milk.  Food coloring is optional.
3.   Put a dab on each cookie.  If you are in a decorative mood, you could use a pastry tube, fitted with the correct nozzle,       to expel the icing.